Nov. 12, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen, along with sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton and senior running back Kerwynn Williams, held a news conference Monday to talk about the upcoming game at Louisiana Tech. A complete transcript of Andersen, Keeton and Williams' remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Gary Andersen
"Obviously, the Louisiana Tech game is a huge game for the Aggies and a huge game for the Bulldogs. It's fun to be in a game that has this much on the outcome, this late in the year. Late November games are what football teams play for and fans want to be around. It's a great accomplishment by both sides to get to the point where both teams are. We are excited about the opportunity to compete and I am sure they are too. It's a fun time for all Aggies to be associated with a game like this. We're very, very up beat and excited about the practice week that we are going to walk ourselves into here and the situation we are in. The kids will handle it very well. I don't have any doubt with that. They will prepare the right way. We got a good jumpstart on it last week. They should be fresh after a few days off and away we go."
"If you break down Louisiana Tech. First of all, everybody wants to talk about the offense and I will talk about the offense, but I'd like to talk about a couple of other areas first. They are very good on special teams and have been for years. They are very well coached and they take advantage of opportunities when opportunity knocks. Last week they punted twice and ran a fake punt. They are aggressive on special teams. So, we will have to play at our best to be able to deal with that. We all know their punter is a special, special player. He changes the game in their favor many times. It's a good solid base of special teams."
"Defensively, everybody wants to talk about the defense and number of points and this and that. What I see is this, I see an offensive football team that has got the lead, a big lead many times in football games this year and I see an opportunity, what I believe in and I am sure their coaching staff believes in it too, of getting young guys some playing times and some situations to get in and play. It's good for your program when you can do that. Bottom line to me, the numbers defensively is skewed. This is a good defense. It is a lot of the same kids we played against a year ago and they were tremendous on defense. So, we are excited about the opportunity to compete there."
"Offensively, what's different from the year's past from Louisiana Tech is they have tremendous players. They always had very good players, but I think they have a couple more potent weapons than they have had in the past. Just from talking overall, the skill of their kids that are on the field, they have a tremendous quarterback, a tremendous wide receiver, two or three tremendous backs, and an offensive line that is very efficient. They have other receivers as well that catch the ball a lot and do a lot good things with it, they are very good in that area. Probably the biggest difference from year's past is quite simply, they can run the ball effectively and have shown they can do that game after game after game. It was much more one-dimensional the first two years since we've been here and played them. That's kind of what I see. It's a tremendous challenge for us. It's going to be, I'm sure, a great atmosphere to go play at and two very good teams playing. To be 8-2 versus 9-1, 4-0 versus 4-0 in conference, it's a special time and we are excited about the opportunity to compete against a great team that we are going to face this week in Louisiana Tech."
Is the Louisiana Tech offensive just a total fast break and do they just run to the ball and get the call from the sideline all the time?
"Not all the time. The fast pace is who they are; it's what they want to do and they do a great job of it. They get on the ball quickly and they don't allow you to substitute. Obviously, their offensive players are very well in tune to the scheme and being able to execute quickly, get directions quickly and get on the ball and play fast. It's a very vicious weapon on the offensive side of the football and they do a good job with it. It's not pace every single snap, from what we see on film and what we've kind of gathered information wise, but it's a very vicious weapon."
Supposedly the center calls the cadence?
"I don't know that. That is not really unusual. A lot of teams will do that. The center will get up and give the set, hut and away they go. A few teams do that."
Why is Colby Cameron so successful, 419 attempts without an interception? Does he get it out quick? Are they not getting pressure on him?
"Yes and yes. Those are two things that are big parts of it. The offense is designed to get rid of the ball quickly and they do a nice job with that. I think he's very in tune with the offense. He's obviously a very smart young man. He has a tremendous supporting cast around him, which I talked about earlier. So, it's a well-oiled machine. It all starts with players. It's a good, solid scheme and they are well coached. Good coaches and good schemes mean nothing without good football players and Louisiana Tech has good football players on the offensive side of the ball and on the defensive side of the ball as I stated earlier. That is why they are 9-1."
Is Quinton Patton the kind of guy that you just throw him the ball and he will go and get it?
"Yep, he's proven to be fast, a good route runner, and an intelligent wide receiver that catches contested balls. So, he is well rounded and without question a next level wide receiver."
On freshman Kenneth Dixon:
"He is a good, powerful back that carries himself with confidence as a freshman. He is good. They've got a couple running backs. They run very hard, very physical and the running game you could say is simple, maybe on paper or simple by amount of plays that they have, but what they do is very effective and it's efficient. So, it's not easy to defend."
On Louisiana Tech's punter Ryan Allen and how he can affect the game:
"Well there is not a lot you can do. He is going to punt the football and he is really good at it. He's a good punter. He's going change field position and you have to be able to deal with it. He may get the ball in the air and if you've got to fair catch it, fair catch it. If you get an opportunity to get after it, get after it. You want to try to be able to get him off pace and not make him feel as comfortable. He has done a nice job for years and I believe, again, he is a next level punter, without question. He is a very good player."
Does Utah State's offense feel like they can score and move the ball on Louisiana Tech after they have allowed other teams to score a lot of points?
"Well you better score and move the ball, from what it says in the past as far as what they score. It's arena football. That last game was up and down the field and up and down the field. Texas State did a nice job of executing their option phase of the game plan. I thought they played very well and were able to make some big plays and took advantage of opportunity when it was there. It was obviously a high scoring game. Sometimes you get into those games, it's predicted to be a high scoring game and it's a high scoring game. Other times you get into those games and it's not so fast. All of a sudden you get the low scoring games. Every game, like always, will take on it's own personality and the outcome will be what it will be, but I know you have two good teams that expect to win and it's going to be fun to watch them. Two explosive offenses and we're excited to have the opportunity to match up with that offense."
What would the nation think if this game were two 10-0 teams playing? Would there be more attention that there is now?
"Well I hope not. If you can't sit back and say Wisconsin, they are going to play in a championship game and odds on favorite to go back to the Rose Bowl. BYU has proven they are a good team. I don't know, they'll win what nine games or 10 games, whatever they are going to end up winning. We all know what Alabama is. If you take those three losses right there, if this game doesn't capture national attention then people don't know football, I guess. It's a big time game and a big time atmosphere. It's a credit to the WAC, it's a credit to Louisiana Tech and I think it's a credit to Utah State to be in the position that we are in. The players are always first and the players got the kids into this spot. So, I believe that they deserve, both teams deserve, a bunch of attention for this. They're going to go out and put a very good product on the field, on both sides. It's going to be exciting."
How would you like to see the tempo of this game?
"The tempo of this game, I would like it if they would come out and they would get into a huddle, which they never do, and sit there and snap the ball with one second on the clock and we were able to run our offense at the pace we want to run our offense at. Obviously, that's a dream world and that's not going to happen. I know what the pace of the game is going to be. They are going to play fast and we're going to play how we play, which is fast at times and we look over at times. So, I think it will be a little longer game than we are used to, because I expect a lot of throws, but we will see as it goes. Just as I say that, we might run it 40 times and they might run it 40 times, who knows? I don't think, necessarily, the pace of the game is going to truly dictate the outcome. I hope it doesn't. I think we are prepared for that. We will see."
Do you anticipate substituting along the defensive line being a problem at all with their pace?
"Yeah, absolutely. I think it could be a problem on both sides. They play a bunch of defensive linemen who are very talented. I think we play a bunch of defensive linemen that are very talented. The kids are going to have to understand how to get on and off the field. Coaches are going to have to understand how to get kids on and off the field, and young men are going to have to get used to playing a few more snaps than they are used to playing. Now if you watch the film, you can absolutely see when Louisiana Tech feels that they've got you tired, they are going to put the pedal to the metal. They are not going to let you substitute. They are going to say keep the same personnel group on the field and they are going to come after you. You don't think as fast and you don't communicate as fast, all the stuff that comes with it, with fatigue. With fatigue you have got to become tougher minded. Our kids have got to accept that challenge and understand it and understand that they are doing the same thing. They are playing fast too. We cannot let fatigue be a factor to us. You may have to strategically use a timeout here and there to let you catch your breath if you need to and that goes back to the coaching side. There is responsibility on all sides to be able to handle the pace."
They are fatigued too aren't they?
"Yeah, I don't think there is any question. One thing I will say, when you start sitting down and you look at why do people play more defensive lineman than offensive lineman, it's because you don't ask those offensive lineman to run and redirect. I don't have the numbers, but if you just went the average game of how many yards an offensive lineman would run versus what a defensive lineman would run, it would be a substantial difference. For the wide outs, for the corners, for the quarterbacks, you are on equal ground. If they are going to play them, then we should be able to line up and play also."
Is that part of there whole system, to put pressure on defense substitutions?
"Absolutely. It's a very good ploy. It's something that we use and a lot of offenses use now. You see it every week and it's a big part of their offense. I think that comes with belief from kids and I think our kids believe it. When we play fast and when we go on pace, one of our goals we talk about is we are going to wear them out and get them mentally tired and physically tired and away we go. Louisiana Tech, I am sure, is no different and they have an extreme belief in that with the way they have success when they wear people down."
Sophomore Quarterback Chuckie Keeton
On playing Louisiana Tech:
"We always had them kind of marked on our schedule coming from the off-season just because we knew it was one of the games we should have won last year, but to have it be on this magnitude where a WAC Championship is kind of on the line is a great feeling. At the same time we have to work a little bit harder, have to prepare a little bit harder, but I think we should be able to play our type of football."
On Louisiana Tech's Defense and how confident Utah State's offense feels heading into the game:
"It's a great feeling. We played against Texas State so we kind of know what they had, what they've been doing throughout the year. It's not the only game that they've allowed the other team to put up a lot of points and hopefully we can kind of run with that and continue to stock up on points. All we have to do is play strong to our game plan and execute and we should do well."
On Louisiana Tech's offense vs. Utah State's defense:
"We're all going to have different perspectives as far as different teams. Our coaches are going to do a good job putting together a good game plan for us and we're practicing all week and as long as we can execute during the week and have it transfer over into the game I think that we should do well."
On having a more dynamic offense this year:
"We're definitely a dynamic team this year, but we have to just take whatever the defense is giving us and as long as we don't make any mental errors, play smart with the football and try not to turn it over that's definitely going to help us out."
On talking about this weekend's game as a team:
"It's just another game to us, but that being said it's a game that could decide the WAC champions. So if anything that's what we're talking about most."
Senior Running Back Kerwynn Williams
On playing Louisiana Tech:
"It's definitely going to be an exciting game to go to. Everything we've done throughout the summer and everything leading up to this point finally has a chance to show. Everything we've done is going to be put to the test this coming weekend against a good football team."
On their defense last year:
"They game-planned us really well last year. They're defensive line was very stout. They held their own inside the trenches and knew how to plug up the holes, and their linebackers played downhill which caused some problems for us. We weren't able to run the ball as effectively as we wanted to. They're similar to that this year. They're very stout in the middle with their nose guard and inside tackle. We're definitely going to have to game plan and be ready for that this year."
On Utah State's offense this year:
"We're definitely more balanced on offense which allows us to be more dynamic. We pass in the right situations and we run in the right situations, which makes it hard to play against us. I think it will be a good test to go up against a good defense this weekend."
On being this close to reaching the goal of a WAC title:
"It's big. This is my last chance to get one, so it's a big game for me personally. Louisiana Tech was the team that knocked us out of contention last year, so to be able to face them this year for the WAC Championship is big. It will definitely help keep us pushing for the next games after that, but right now all we can do is focus on this weekend."
On what the team is excited for about the game:
"They are a well-rounded defense regardless of what the stats say. They play with a lot of energy and fly around on the field. We're going to have to come out and be on top of our game to get this victory."
On what Utah State's defense needs to do this weekend:
"They just need to be the consistent defense that they've been all season. They're really the backbone of our team. The way our defense plays allows us to take more chances on the offensive side of the ball. It's a good thing for us, knowing that our defense has our back if something were to go wrong. They make big plays and I think they'll continue that this game."
On the historical struggles of Utah State in Ruston:
"Last time (2010) it was just a bad trip. We didn't play consistently the whole game and we didn't have a whole lot of energy. We know that regardless of the whether the crowd is big or if we have a lot of fans there, we have to be prepared going into this game. If we come out flat it's going to go the same way it did the last time."
On going in from a bye week:
"All the bye week did was give us a chance to collect ourselves and get our bodies back. I don't think the intensity dropped at all the whole week of practice. Everybody practiced everyday, trying to get the game plan ready for this week. This is what we've been working for and we're not going to let down now."
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